DURBAN – Nozipho Zulu, is the creator of ZuluGal Retro a company that makes up-cycled handbags and fashion accessories.
The products from this Durban based business are made by unemployed differently-abled youth and their caregivers. According to Zulu, the people use their skills to produce handcrafted handbags and generate an income from the sales of the bags.
Zulu spoke about the business being a social enterprise. She said, “This social enterprise was founded with the belief that the arts and craft industry has a potential to significantly contribute towards economic empowerment and the improvement of socio-economic well being of disadvantaged groups.”
Her range if products include purses, handbags, backpacks and lampshades. The materials that are used to make her bags are upcycled and recycled laminated food packaging like packaging from potato chips, chocolates and sweet wrappers.
Zulu who is a Fine Artist by profession, said that she was driven by the belief that the arts and crafts industry has the ability to significantly contribute towards the economic empowerment and the improvement of the socio-economic well being of disadvantaged groups.
ZuluGal Retro has received funding from the National Arts Council of South Africa and the Mandela Washington Fellowship social impact grants.
They are also a part of the RedBull Amphiko Academy which has allowed them to reach bigger marketing platforms like exhibitions and tradeshows of outside of KZN.
On her future plans, Zulu said that she wants to have a bigger impact through their projects and services to benefit more unemployed different-abled youth and their caregivers beyond this province.